Williams deny Kubica exit claims, insist he has an equal car to Russell

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Williams has been forced onto the defensive over the performance and future of Robert Kubica.

The Pole has endured a tough season since making a highly anticipated comeback eight years after a devastating rally crash left him severely injured.

So far he has failed to beat teammate George Russell in qualifying and has only finished ahead once on a Sunday - when the Briton's race was compromised in France by an early front wing change.

During the year, however, Kubica has cited what he believed to be differences in how his car was performing compared to Russell, however, Williams maintain their cars are exactly the same.

“There is absolutely no difference between George and Robert’s car," deputy boss Claire Williams told RaceFans on Thursday.

“If anything else, we don’t have the budget to create two different types of race cars. So this speculation is just crazy.

“We do everything to make sure that both George and Robert have the same equipment, the same test items at every race weekend that we can to give them the best opportunity going into Saturday and Sunday.”

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While Williams is stuck at the back of the grid, Kubica's lack of results versus Russell even led to speculation that F2 driver and team reserve Nicholas Latifi could be drafted in.

“I find speculation quite frustrating because unless you actually know on the inside, you don’t know what’s going on,” Claire replied via Crash.net.

“Our relationship with Robert is as strong as it was. He’s getting his head down and doing what he needs to do, and we’re trying to do everything that we can to give him a better car so that he can perform at the level that he wants to."

Looking forward, Kubica's sponsor has already indicated his future is uncertain, but the Williams chief brushed that off too.

“We’re only halfway through the season, so it’s a little early for us to start thinking about 2020 and the driver line-up for next year," she continued.

"We have started to think about it, but we’re in no position to be making any final decisions yet, and that probably won’t come until the third quarter of this year.

“There is no thought about replacing Robert at all during the season. Absolutely not.”